If you’re at all in a state of denial, you’d better snap out of it real quick. Santa Claus is in fact, coming to town!
On Sunday 27th November, The Farmers Santa Parade returns to Queen Street. I have never been before but my kids are old enough now to corral on my own (husband will be away) and we are so looking forward to enjoying the fun and excitement of the big city Christmas Parade.
This year marks the 83rd anniversary of the parade. While it is the largest annual community event in Auckland, it continues to work hard to provide a range of contemporary activities while celebrating its traditions too. Due to the rail works on Albert Street, this years parade has a new route, as well as a new charity to support and starts the same time as last year – 1pm. The route change – brought on by the City Rail Link work in Albert Street – features a hard right turn in to Customs Street East at the foot of Queen Street with the parade finishing by Britomart Place.
For people who usually watch the parade from Albert Street, the best place for you now is on Customs St East according to Farmers Santa Parade organiser Pam Glaser.
The Salvation Army has come on board as the 2016 charity, supporting the organisations fight against poverty. “The parade was started in 1934 by Farmers as a gift of fantasy and fun for the children of Auckland. Having the Sallies as an integral part of the event is entirely appropriate considering the work they do in supporting those less well off in our city,” she says. The Salvation Army’s brass bands have a long association with the parade, enjoying the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the public of Auckland. The funds collected at the 2016 parade will be used to provide much needed support for families during the challenging Christmas period, says Major Pam Waugh, The Salvation Army’s National Secretary of Social Services.
Highlights in this years parade include three Angry Birds helium inflatables from Canada, Disney’s Mickey and Minnie inflatables, an Olympics float, LEGO character Clay from Nexo Knights, Austin Powers and a Cinderella float. Phew! I think my kids are going to be well satisfied by that array of characters! Santa’s after party is on again in Aotea Square starting at 2:30 pm and featuring a continuous stage show as well as rides, celebrities, face painting and a spectacular LEGO Christmas Tree. And of course Santa will be on hand too.
If you plan on heading into the city to enjoy the infamous Santa Parade, it’s easy to get to and from the parade with free parking for vehicles exiting the Auckland Transport Downtown and Victoria Street car parks between 1 pm and 6 pm on parade day. Bus train and ferry schedules and fares are available at www.at.govt.nz or you can call the contact centre on 09 366 6400.
For more on the parade visit www.santaparade.co.nz.
Here’s your one stop for the details:
2016 Farmers Santa Parade
Parade date: Sunday, 27 November 2016
Rain date: Sunday, 4 December 2016
Start: 1pm, Cnr Cook St and Mayoral Drive
Route: Left in to Queen St, down Queen St, right in to Customs St E ending at corner of Britomart Place.
Road closures: All inner city roads are closed between 11:00 am and 4 pm on Sunday 27 November.
Pre-Parade entertainment, product sampling, charity collection and giveaways begin from 12 noon and all the action of the Farmers Santa Parade begins at 1pm.
Hope to see you there!